Two major rankings were released this week, with the WBSC listing its 2017 Top 75 and Mister Baseball offering the eleventh edition of its club rankings. Other news came from the Bahamas and Nicaragua, which announced a new international baseball event.
Maikel Azcuy is leaving Britain’s National League for the Berlin Flamingoes (link). Azcuy is the all-time home run leader at BBF’s top level.
The Netherlands’ Curt Smith turned up in the Nicaraguan playoffs and hit a home run (tweet).
After observing last week that no Great Britain national team players were playing winter ball, we broke the news that Great Britain’s Barry Enright will join the Naranjeros de Hermosillo for the playoff run (tweet).
The WBSC released its end-of-year rankings and we offered a breakdown of them (link). Baseball is the only sport in the world that has nations from every continent except Africa ranked in its Top 10. Our article pointed out nations that were snubbed in the poll and broke the Top 75 down by federation and baseball-playing region.
We continued our look at the rankings with a thread on how the changes in the list might affect selection for the 2020 World Baseball Classic qualifiers (tweets).
Robert Neustrom, who played for the University of Iowa’s ‘Team USA’ at the Universiade, added to his pre-season plaudits as he was ranked the No. 74 college prospect in NCAA Division I (tweet).
Uganda Baseball had an update on its youth teams and international competition (tweet).
Malta released a video covering baseball on the islands in 2017 (link).
We broke the news in English that Nicaragua and Cuba announced a surprise addition to the 2018 baseball calendar as they will play a three-game set in Managua between February 23 and 25 (tweet 1 and tweet 2).
Josh Chetwynd released his 2017 European Club Standings via Mister-Baseball (link). We broke down the rankings with Great Britain, Belarus, Switzerland, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Serbia, Finland, and Norway among the 11 nations with record ratings.
Aruba’s Ryan Oduber is released by the Red Sox (link).
In response to another reader question, we discussed World Baseball Classic expansion and potential qualification host sites and brackets in 2020 (link).
We interviewed the Indians’ Todd Isaacs, a native of the Bahamas and the brainchild behind the Don’t Blink Home Run Derby on January 6 (tweet). Thanks to Todd, we broke the news that the derby will return in 2019, with a date scheduled for January 5 (tweet). The winner this year was top Blue Jays’ prospect Bo Bichette, who beat Lucius Fox and Nick Gordon.
Our next edition of ‘The Week’ will have more from our interview with Isaacs, plus other news from the Bahamas and Great Britain as we lead up to the Under-15 Oceania Championship.
Previous articles in this series include:
1-6 January (link)
22-31 December (link)
15-21 December (link)
8-14 December (link)
1-7 December (link)
15-30 November (link)
1-14 November (link)
15-31 October (link)
1-14 October (link)
Month of September (link)
27 August-2 September (link)
20-26 August (link)